AnalysisCommercial News

How a prepaid electricity sub-meter can assist landlords and holiday rental agents

By Zachariya Lockhat, Business Development Head: Recharger Prepaid Meters

There is no denying that 2020 has been a difficult year, but as we approach the traditional December holiday season, it seems that all is not entirely lost on the local tourism front.
By all accounts, doctors’ rooms have seen a recent uptake in patients wanting to have COVID-19 tests in a bid to prove that they will test negative, and thereby be allowed to travel.
And so there may be a glimmer of hope for the local tourism industry, as well as for landlords and holiday rental management agencies – of course, only time will tell.
In the meantime, there’s no denying that this has been a year where people have really had to learn to ‘work smarter’ and embrace new ideas. It has also become a time in which, more than ever, every rand spent really does count.
A prepaid meter is a device that helps the user control and regulate the usage of electricity. It works much like a prepaid cellphone, whereby you pay upfront before you use it, therefore eliminating large unexpected monthly bills.
It’s a fact that prepaid electricity sub-meters can assist landlords and property management agents, including those that focus exclusively on holiday rentals, to work smarter by preventing disputes on utilities bills. Additionally, and perhaps even more pertinently for the holiday market, these sub-meters can assist in making sure that temporary tenants don’t swallow up all the profits by consuming electricity, thereby causing an exorbitant energy bill during their stay on an all-inclusive expenses basis.
A good holiday rental manager works with their clients to create a tailored solution that’s designed especially with the unique property in mind. Such a manager is always aware that the holiday rental property represents an investment for the owner, and that working together as a team will produce a win-win situation all around.
Here are some useful points to ponder:
·        Installing a prepaid electricity sub-meter will assist landlords and their property managers to work together in measuring and monitoring electricity consumption.
·        This helps to ensure that the short-term tenants don’t create headaches in the form of unforeseen bills.
·        However, it also helps landlords to learn about their target market and plan more effectively to meet their clients’ needs, including reasonable price-setting for the future.
If this is of interest to you, here is some more information about the ‘nuts and bolts’ of acquiring and installing a prepaid electricity sub-meter:
·        Installing and activating: A registered electrician must install the meter. Once the registration form is completed and sent to Recharger with the necessary documents, it will be processed and you will receive an SMS to notify you that your meter is activated.
·        Registering your meter: It is easy to register your Recharger prepaid sub-meter(s). The registration forms are included with each meter and you can use one form for multiple meters. Once completed, take a clear photo and send the completed registration form back to Recharger via WhatsApp, fax or e-mail.
·        Recharging: Use the unique number on each card that comes with your meter to buy prepaid electricity tokens from a variety of online and mobile vendors, retail stores, banks and petrol stations. You will receive a credit token with a 20-digit number. Simply enter the number on your meter keypad and press the red or blue button to recharge.
·        Where to purchase prepaid electricity tokens: Recharger prepaid electricity tokens can be purchased countrywide from numerous retail outlets like Checkers, Spar, Dischem, Shoprite or Boxer stores. You can also get tokens at banks including FNB, Absa, Nedbank and Standard Bank, and petrol stations including Shell, Sasol, Caltex, Engen and BP. Or you can buy tokens online from the Recharger Pay Portal or PayCity, as well as from mobile vendors using Flash and Kazang.
By letting a prepaid electricity sub-meter take care of the economics of the provision of electricity – arguably one of the most basic of amenities that holiday makers would expect – this frees up the landlord and the holiday rental agent to focus on planning around the creation of a premium stay for their guests.
And so, taking this into account, why not consider installing a prepaid electricity sub-meter for your holiday rental property? Whether you are a landlord or a manager, it will be of benefit to you both during the 2020 December holiday season as well as for all holiday seasons in the future.